Accept (en)

Accept is back and touring around the world, their new album is a big hit and all fans are excited to see them again. During their tour in the US, Spirit of Metal met with the guitar player Wolf Hoffmann to talk a little bit about the band’s return, the new album and the band’s future. Check it out!

interview AcceptFirst of all, thank you for this interview!
You bet! My pleasure!

You guys have toured last year here in US (October 2010) and now you are back (May 2011). What are the differences between this and the last tour?
The last tour was some sort of a first glimpse or a first visit to say: “Hey, Accept is back and we are back together”. This time around is more of a full blown tour, we’ve been on the road for several weeks and if we go back to January when we started it [the tour] in Europe, we’ve been on the road for several months now. So, this time around we bring more stuff, we play a longer set and this kind of thing. So, it’s good…

Your latest album “Blood of the Nations” is making a lot of success. It hit “high positions” on several countries charts...
Oh yeah! Lots of places! Something like 40 or 50 webzines, magazines, countries… I mean… we couldn’t have asked for more.

When you guys were working on the album… did you imagine such a big success?
No, you can’t think on those terms, quite honestly… and you never do. You just write the bet songs you can at the time and the rest is up to other people, you know? If you could plan this sort of things you would obviously always plan for multi-million dollar successes but, you can’t plan anything like that. It’s always a certain amount of timing and luck involved, the right record at the right time. Quite honestly, as a musician, I think you always try to give your best. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t.

Have the reaction of the fans been different in different territories, or has it been the same?
It’s universal: metal fans love this record more then anything we have ever done or more then anything we’ve done ever since the 80s. Most people would put it right next to “Balls to the wall” or “Restless and Wild” as far as the hierarchy of the albums concerned, and that is world wide.

But, there are differences as far as the overall metal scene. For instance in Europe, we draw much larger crowds and the metal scene in general is much more vibrant, much more alive then here. We still have fans over here [US] but there are fewer venues, not quite the attendance we have in Europe…So, there are differences.

Has this tour been good until now (in US)?
Yes! It has been really good, definitely! It tends to be more successful in larger cities like LA, New York and Chicago. There’s when we get the really wild crowds and really full houses. But it’s been going quite well overall.

Can you describe to us a little bit about the process of composing, writing, recording this album?
I really always have to go back to the day that we met Mark Tornillo, about 2 years ago, because in that instant we decided to re-launch Accept and that meant to us to write a new album. Before that, it was in nobody’s radar, we didn’t have any songs written, we didn’t have anything because we didn’t have a band. We though it was all over and finished. So, in that moment we decided: “All right, we will make a new record”.

Peter [Baltes] and I got together several times over the next few months and spent about a week or ten days at a time writing new stuff. And that’s really what we usually have to do: we have to set time aside, lock the doors, turn off the phones and really get down to business. That’s when we come up with good stuff, so that’s what we did.

Over the course of 2 or 3 months we had all these songs written and about half way through that process we met Andy Sneap, the producer. He was very instrumental selecting the write songs and recording it all. He was a huge help on this project. I’m sure the record would have turned out way different if he wouldn’t be there. It was a blessing that he came at the right time and join us, you know?

It went super smooth, it really didn’t take long for us to make all these songs and then to record them, there were really no delays. From start to finish the process was only 6 months or so, from the first
interview Accept day we decided to do this to the day it was recorded.

So, you guys didn’t use anything that you have worked on during those years without a band?
No, no. That’s a surprise to everybody! A lot of people though that this album is strong because we had 15 years to write it but, that’s not true, we had just a few weeks to do it, which is quite amazing.

Has this time off contribute somehow to this strong album? Did the time off give you new ideas, inspirations, etc?
Maybe… because we were really “recharged” and full of energy, more than we would have been in this constant touring – recording cycle. I don’t know. Nobody really knows. I know that we have been more energized than we have been in a long, long time.

The idea for us to sort of “come out of retirement” and jump into this thing full force again, was so exciting that I’m sure it has contributed also.

The pressure we had from people who were saying that this was not going to work, because changing lead singers is a very tricky thing, I believe have contributed too. Because, we wanted to show these people wrong and say: yes, we can do this and yes, this is going to be a good album. So, we worked extra hard.

In your opinion what was the most difficult step during the process of making and releasing this album (Blood of Nations)?
Humm… let me think, what was the hardest part? Ahh, I will tell you what the hardest part was: waiting for it to be released! Because it was really done and mixed in January or February but, by the time we had the actual label deal it was already May and then they didn’t want to release it before the summer, because there is a summer “hole” that nobody wants to release records in. So we had to wait until August. All this time we had this thing ready and finished but we couldn’t play it to anybody. So that was the toughest part.

Since the release of the album… can you think of a most special moment with the fans?
There are quite a few actually. Obviously the first show ever was quite exciting because we had no idea of what it was going to be like: to be in the same stage with Mark [Tornillo], with new lineup and the rest of us had not been together on stage in many, many years. So, that was the first night in New York, last year. It was quite exciting… that sticks out.

Later on we did some unforgettable shows, several of them with ACDC in Germany. There were like 80.000 people each show so, that was huge. We are huge ACDC fans so that was a great honor for us.

And then we headlined some festival dates in Europe, Sonisphere festivals in Turkey and Romania. That was pretty awesome too.

Looking back at all the years you spent with the band, what have been your biggest accomplishments, the ones you are most proud of?
We never won a Grammy or anything, or else I would say that would be it. But I think that the fact that we have influenced so many other people, which is a fact that we were really just aware off, later on in life. When we released “Restless and wild”, “Breaker”, “Balls to the wall” and these early albums in the 80s, we didn’t really have a clear sense that it would influence so many people, other musicians in particular. This fact is probably what I am most proud of.

We made several gold records but never a multi-platinum one. We never had that huge commercial success that other bands have sometimes (number one MTV videos, records that sell 12 million copies). But, what we did have was a huge underground following and a huge sort of credibility with fans and musicians too.

Yeah, but if you think about it, not too many bands (rock, metal) have accomplished that: platinum records, etc.
No, there are not too many. But, there are some “hair bands” that had some pretty cheese songs and sold gazillion of records with it. We never really had that and we never really wanted that either. We wanted to do our way and I’m actually proud of the fact.

Of course, the best is: if you can be true to yourself, stay who you are and still have mult
interview Accepti million dollar successes, like ACDC for instance. They are awesome in that sense. They never changed, they never sold out but yet, they are probably the biggest band in the world right now. That’s quite admirable in my opinion.

You are the second person who tells me that. Amon Amarth’s lead singer said the same thing to me about ACDC…(Check out the interview with Amon Amarth done at April 24th 2011, here at Spirit of Metal).
Really? Funny… It’s true though. ACDC never did anything different all these years, they stayed exactly who they were and 30 years later, they are the biggest band in the world. It’s pretty cool!

Now, the opposite questions … any regrets after all these years?
No, not really. I mean, we had our ups and downs, we had our break-ups, personnel changes and all that. But it was always something that seemed justified and seemed the right thing to do at the time. So, I can’t ever regret anything that I stood behind at the time, you know?

For 2011 you have shows scheduled until July. Anything else scheduled for the rest of the year?
No, we are going to start working on the new album actually. That’s why we will stop touring: so we do have the time [to work on the new album] and because we can never really work well on the road.

I have no idea how people do it. I’ve heard some guys are actually writing on the road. I never get enough free or down time on the road to actually get into the spirit of song writing.

What about the next album? Any ideas already?
No, I think we are going to approach it the same way [as the last album]: we are not going to be scarred by anything. We are just going to sit down and start writing riffs and see what happens.

Talking about the metal scene now. I heard and read some of your interviews and you always say that you don’t really follow it. But, are there any bands that have impressed you lately?
Yeah, that’s an honest statement. I follow nothing, really. But tell you what: we toured with a band in Europe called Grand Magus. I thought they were pretty good.

Anything you are listening to right now?
Not really. I listen to classical music if I want to put on some stuff but other than that I’m not really much of a listener, I’m more of a song writer, I work on my own stuff. I never get much enjoyment from just listening to music. It sounds really bizarre, but it’s true.

Anything you want to accomplish with Accept during the next few years? Any wishes?
Yeah. We would love to keep this going as long as we can, because right now we are having a “ball”. To just travel around the world and meet these fans that have waited for us for all these years, this is a dream come true.

You have to realize, we’ve all had other careers in the mean time and we’ve all had success at certain things in life but we’ve really missed making music. This is why we are back here. It’s not to seek fame and fortune anymore, it’s just for the love of making music, for being on stage. And that’s the same for everybody in the band. So, for us to get this opportunity right now is pretty awesome.

We love what we are doing and hopefully we will make another few albums the next few years and keep this thing going.I don’t have any goals like: we have to reach this and that, like I said earlier, a Grammy, or anything in that nature. No man… we are just pretty content where we are.

Anything you would like to say to the readers of Spirit of Metal?
Well, again,thank you for supporting Accept for all these years because without the fans we couldn’t do any of this. I mean, its mind blowing sometimes that we meet all these people that have literally waited 10, 15 years to see us again, or here in Southern California it would be 20 years.

So we go to a lot of places where people have been waiting and now they finally have a chance to see us and we finally have a chance to meet them, so it’s awesome.

interview réalisée par Deesse_de_la_nuit

3 Commentaires

0 J'aime

Elevator - 18 Mai 2011: Thank you Déesse.
That's very interesting !
Dr.Feelgood - 19 Mai 2011: Great review for one more time Deesse! Nice questions with enjoyable answers!
AnaGuard - 06 Juin 2011: Thank you! :)
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